Self-compassion is about responding compassionately to your own imperfections. In the next few minutes you will find out more about what self compassion is, what it’s benefits are, what you can do to become more self-compassionate, and you can download a guided self compassion meditation.
Dr. Kristin Neff, the world’s foremost authority on self-compassion defined three necessary components for self-compassion:
- being kind to yourself
- recognizing that suffering and failing are part of the normal human experience
- being mindful about your emotions, being aware of both your positive and negative feelings, without judging them.
If you want to get a really good understanding of what self-compassion is, think about being compassionate with a friend or loved one. And now imagine that you are that friend or loved one. For many people this is actually not easy – most of us are a lot more compassionate with other people than we are on ourselves.
Benefits of Being Self-Compassionate
Self compassion exercises have helped many people to overcome depression, and reduce self-criticism, anxiety, thought suppression, perfectionism and even eating disorders. You can stop being judgemental with yourself and achieve inner peace and contentment and become emotionally stronger.
How To Become More Self Compassioante
Here’s a simple exercise for you:
Simply pay attention to your critical self talk. Listen to what you say. It’s excellent if you actually write your thoughts down on paper, but you can do this exercise by just saying the thoughts out loud or thinking them. And really pay attention to what exactly you say: try to get verbatim quotes from your internal dialogue.
Are there certain phrases that you use over and over again? If yes, these are probably highly emotionally effective phrases, and you will get the maximum benefit if you work on them.
Also pay attention to the tone of your voice – what does it sound like? Loud and harsh? Or kind of whispering and mean? Or kind of news anchor neutral?
Does the voice remind you of someone?
The better you know this critical inner voice, the better prepared you are for the next step.
Next you want to reduce the emotional impact your inner critic has on you. You do this by simply responding in a non-judgemental way. So don’t tell your inner critic to “shut the f*ck up!”. Instead, say something like: “Thanks for your feedback, I know you have your reasons for talking to me like that. But the thing is – you’re not actually helping me. You’re just making me feel bad. Please stop being so negative and become more encouraging.”
At this point, many people think: “Oh my god, what a load of cr*p! Don’t give me that feely-touchy mumbo-jumbo!”
Well, guess which voice it is that’s being skeptical here? Yes, you got it. Great opportunity to practice the exercise on!
Now it’s time to rephrase what your inner critic told you so harshly in a compassionate way. So for example, if you’re inner voice told you: “You’re a worthless fat slob!” You could rephrase it like this: “I know you have your reasons why you’re overweight. So many things happened in the past. And you know what? Now you’re at a point where you could be in so much better shape and feel much better about yourself if you would start today to make healthier eating choices.”
Basically, you want to imagine how a really supportive friend would talk to you to make you feel better. You can even act that out! So if an imaginary friend would gently stroke your arm or your head, you can do that. The kind touch actually causes physiological reactions in your body which can help to make you feel better. Yes, it’s kind of a strange concept at first to “hug yourself”, but it really can help.
Combine with with a self compassion meditation hypnosis session to feel good about yourself – this is something really great because you get to listen to encouraging, carefully crafted words that will help you to feel better about yourself and relax at the same time, making change in your subconscious mind more easy.